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Anchorman HD
HDDVD disk
01.07.2008 By: Dave Davis
Anchorman HD order
Director:
Adam McKay

Actors:
Will Ferrell
Paul Rudd
Steve Carell
Christina Applegate

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In 1970s San Diego, brainless leading newsman Ron Burgundy and his team of fellow chauvinists are introduced to the network’s new “diversity” mandate in the form of a lovely and ambitious female reporter.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
As Will Ferrell’s Hollywood status slowly began to rise, he finally got to pull the trigger on his lingering vanity project, taking us back to a kitschy wood-paneled era and into the male-driven realm of broadcast news. Ferrell’s boozy, narcissistic buffoon Ron Burgundy (clearly modeled on Ted Knight) is the leader of the pack of local anchormen, and he’s joined by womanizing newsman Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), boisterous sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner) and simpleton meteorologist Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).

Tossed into the midst of these manly fashion hazards is ambitious reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), who threatens the station's macho balance, and the polyester-clad sexists each make it their mission to tame her. Veronica eventually succumbs to Ron’s highly questionable charm, and he swiftly finds himself falling in love with her. But when a highway mishap makes him late for the airwaves and she successfully acts as substitute anchor, their relationship hits rocky territory.


In the short time since its release, ANCHORMAN has already achieved pop culture eminence. But it’s hardly the sum of its quotes -- there clearly wasn’t much of a script, just a general outline for riffing actors, easy gags and cameos by famous friends. Despite some inspired moments (an impromptu rendition of “Afternoon Delight”, a surreal alley standoff and subsequent WARRIORS-style rumble between competing news teams), the movie sputters around the halfway mark and never fully recovers. And although the movie is Ferrell’s own vehicle, his blustery hotshot is ultimately overshadowed by the work of his cast-mates, including Rudd’s hilarious posturing and Carell’s imbecilic delivery.
THE EXTRAS
It seems as though the disc essentially ports over all the special features from the previous Standard DVD, but without remastering them for HD. Notable in its absence is WAKE UP RON BURGUNDY, a second feature-length film pieced together from alternate takes and random leftover footage (further supporting the theory that the shoot was one big ad-libbing session). Basically the only thing upgraded for the HD release is the picture. So much for the increased capacity of HD discs…

Commentary: Ferrell and director Adam McKay have a running audio commentary that also features co-stars Rudd, Koechner and Applegate, plus arbitrary guests Lou Rawls, Kyle Gass and Andy Richter. For the most part the participants ignore the actual film in favor of picking on each other in varying degrees of vulgarity, with little focus.

Making of (10 min.): Standard promotional stuff, with more goofing around than actual insight into making of the film.

Deleted Scenes (35 min.): Some quality material in here – most of the footage consists of extended or alternate takes, a couple of which are far funnier than some of what made the final cut.

Bloopers (7 min.): Yet more of the crew goofing off and flubbing lines, but still some decent stuff.

MTV Movie Awards (7 min.), ESPN Audition (2 min.), Conversation with Ron Burgundy (10 min.), Commercial Break (6 min.): A lot of material that demonstrates how thin the joke really is. Ferrell appears in-character as Burgundy several times, blowing an ESPN audition and engaging in interviews with Bill Kurtis and Rebecca Romijn. Like several moments in the film, they go on far too long.

Afternoon Delight (3 min.): A music video of the quartet performing (and surprisingly well) the famous Starland Vocal Band tune about daytime sex.

Special Report (6 min.): More in-character clips (several of which appear in truncated form in the background during the film) from the whole news team. Some funny bits.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
ANCHORMAN’s setup was primed for clever statements on feminism, sexual harassment and the seemingly archaic mentality of the era, but instead the movie is content to stick with silly humor, garish wardrobe and the (occasionally amusing) improvisation of the lead actors.
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